Better Call Saul Was Nearly Canceled Because Of Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk once dealt with a massively scary health issue, which nearly led to Better Call Saul getting completely pulled.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

bob odenkirk better call saul

Despite serving as the final chapter, the sixth season of Better Call Saul could have been completely canceled. The series was put in jeopardy after its star Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on the set. Production was suspended for quite some time while the actor recovered. Now, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, series co-creator Peter Gould revealed there was no backup plan if the Emmy nominee couldn’t return to the show.

Speaking candidly about Bob Odenkirk’s health, Gould said they were prepared to scrap the entire season because it’s just a piece of entertainment. “There’s no backup plan for your lead [having] a heart attack. That’s impossible,” the Better Call Saul creative told the publication. “It reminds you that as preoccupied and as important as entertainment feels – and we all feel like it’s life-and-death as we’re working on these shows – it’s not. It’s a piece of entertainment.”

Recalling the moment Bob Odenkirk had the heart attack Gould said witnessing someone who you care about go down in front of everybody changes everything. He added that it was a miracle that the 59-year-old came back after five weeks. Addressing the actor’s health following the medical emergency, Gould said he was the same guy. But he may have been slightly more generous. He also said the entire cast and crew were given access to counseling to process what had happened to their star.

When asked about his first day back on the set, Gould said there was an emotional high from seeing Bob Odenkirk again. But they were careful not to push him too hard. Interestingly, he said the star was ready to go. He even called from the hospital asking for scripts. Although viewers may have been eager to see a conclusion to the series, fans agreed with the plan to scrap the show. Luckily, Odenkirk is in good health once more and audiences can look forward to the final chapters of Better Call Saul with season six returning on July 11th.

Bob Odenkirk first singed with AMC when he joined the cast of Breaking Bad during the show’s second season as bus bench ad lawyer Saul Goodman. When the series ended its five-season run in 2013, he began starring in Better Call Saul which served as a prequel to its predecessor. Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, the story is set in 2000’s Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the plot develops Jimmy McGill, an earnest lawyer and former con artist transforms into an egotistical criminal defense attorney known as Saul Goodman.

The sixth season of the Bob Odenkirk-led show continues Jimmy McGill’s transformation as he navigates his deadly relationship with the New Mexico cartel. The story also examines how this influences Kim, who is dealing with her own existential crisis. At the same time, Nacho, Gus, and Mike are struggling to deal with the fallout from their failed assassination attempt on Lalo, resulting in a tense cat-and-mouse game between the dangerous trio.

Following its premiere in 2015, Better Call Saul has received critical acclaim for Bob Odenkirk’s performance, the characters, writing, direction, and cinematography. A worthy successor to Breaking Bad, the show has been nominated for various awards over the years. This includes six Screen Actors Guild Awards, four Golden Globes, 39 Primetime Emmys, 15 Writers Guild of America Awards, 14 Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and a Peabody Award.